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Jason / Ἰάσων
May 16, 2019
I have to echo Paul's sentiment about mixing communicative approaches and textbooks. The only thing textbooks could possibly be good for would be their reading sections (and Mounce included no reading comprehension sections in his grammar). I'm currently teaching a Hebrew course one-on-one, and I use a textbook to pull reading and vocabulary, but every lesson we have ignores the textbook completely. I use a dry erase board to write new vocabulary, to draw, to elicit concepts. Everything is driven by communication and messages (comprehensible input, as Krashen says). I use sections from the book that I give him to read alone and then we read them together again and go over questions. I allow him to ask questions in English, which I respond to in Hebrew. Apart from that, he must use Hebrew throughout the lesson (though I do all I can to make the atmosphere fun and inviting - with no pressure to produce). He answers when he wants to answer, not when I tell him to answer, except for כן (yes) and לא (no). This is my first course teaching fully with the focus on communication and building language through comprehensible input, and I feel that it's my most successfully conveyed course thus far. I've never had a student who simply grasped the language to the level at which I see him grasping now. He cannot produce well (just simple present-tense sentences and infinitive clauses [such as "I want to go to the store" and "I prefer to eat at home"]), but he has a good understanding of slowed speech. I'm impressed by what I've seen here on this site, and I think such objectives can be attained only through communicative means, and textbooks should be used by language facilitators only to pull readings and vocab from.
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Jason / Ἰάσων

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